Vanuatu’s Kolisen Blong Leftemap Education (KOBLE) has just participated in the Asia Pacific Regional Consultation for Education Advocates in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 2nd-5thof September.
The delegation comprised KOBLE Coordinator Shirley Abraham, Youth Challenge Vanuatu (YCV) Executive Director Nelly Willy Matou, and Oxfam Youth Livelihoods Network Coordinator, Hilary Garae.
90 delegates from across the world took part, from places as far apart as South Africa, South America, Europe and 19 countries from Asia Pacific, including friends from our neighbours Samoa, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
The consultation meeting was a meeting of Civil Society Organisation (CSOs), organised by the Asia Pacific Organisation for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) which supports Education coalitions (including KOBLE) across Asia Pacific to advocate for change on their own behalf.
“The meeting gave us a space to share our experiences working in Education and with youth, and to learn from others good practices in advocating to government,” YCV Executive Director Matou stated.
“We also had the opportunity to learn more about Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG) – the international agreement on strengthening education systems throughout the world. The Vanuatu government has also signed this agreement, promising to try their best to plan for and achieve real changes in the education system.”
This includes improving the quality of education and ensuring that everyone, those with disabilities, women and girls and youth who have dropped out of formal education have the opportunity to complete their education.
She added: “We also learnt that Vanuatu is amongst the 7 countries in the Asia Pacific which have volunteered to produce a report in 2019 on how the country is doing in achieving the SDG4 goals. This report will be presented at the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations. KOBLE applauds the Vanuatu Government in this, and hopes to have input into the report during this year.
“Finally, we shared our experiences and understanding on government policies and government spending on education. We learnt that failure to collect tax means that there will be little budget with which to improve the quality of teaching or school facilities, and that many countries are reviewing their tax systems in order to improve their services.”